Denisa’s first appointment at Marisol Health was not how she imagined it.
As a nurse moved the ultrasound wand over her pregnant belly, she held a phone close to the sound of the baby’s beating heart. Listening on the other end was Denisa’s incarcerated fiancé.
“The feds picked him up less than two weeks before, and I went in to my first appointment without him,” said the 28-year-old mother. “I told them my concerns, but (the medical staff) was very comforting. After their words of encouragement and saying he could hear the heartbeat—it made me feel comfortable.”
Marisol Health, a network of medical clinics run by Catholic Charities of Denver, heard Denisa’s angst.
The father of her child faced felony charges. She had an 8-year-old son, no health insurance and a high school education. Having had three abortions, and several miscarriages, Denisa worried she couldn’t have a healthy baby.
“I thought maybe I had messed my body up, and I wanted to see if I could get excited or not excited–if the baby was okay,” she shared a month before her due date.
She wanted to turn to Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood was my favorite place to run to,” she said. “That’s mostly the reason why I’ve done abortions in the past, out of fear of being a single mom and struggling.”
She saw Marisol Health’s location listed on a Google search. Marisol Health is located right across the street from Planned Parenthood. Denisa decided to go to Marisol Health for an ultrasound. She felt emotional during the appointment.
“If God gave me one more chance to have this baby, I’ve got to have it,” she said. “It’s not the way I pictured it, but it could be worse.”
The compassionate staff at Marisol Health helped her make a plan. They scheduled her appointments, gave her donated clothing and suggested resources to help during her pregnancy, and after. She now takes classes at Community College of Aurora and works part-time while awaiting the birth of her child.
“When I go in, I feel like I’m the only person there,” Denisa said. “If I have a bad day, I go to talk to someone. I get plenty of support. … I’m really proud of myself. I got over my fear.”
In 2017, Marisol Health served 821 clients, 70 percent of whom earn less than $30,000. As part of Marisol Services, Marisol Health provides women with life-affirming medical care, counseling and social services. Learn more at ccdenver.org/marisolservices.